A federal grand jury indicted 57 members of various violent white supremacist gangs in North Texas with drug trafficking and kidnapping charges, the Justice Department announced Monday.
Federal authorities said they arrested 42 of the defendants last week, while nine were already in custody on related charges. Six of the suspects remain at large, according to the Justice Department.
The defendants are accused of conspiring to sell 500 grams or more of methamphetamine from October 2015 through April 2018. According to the indictment, the defendants used stash houses and other locations to store the drug while they negotiated its acquisition, price, delivery and payment.
Four of the defendants kidnapped a non-member in January, holding him for several days over a drug debt, the department said.
The defendants chopped off a portion of the victim’s left index finger with a hatchet, hit him in the back of his head with a large wooden object and put a gun to his head, threatening to kill him, according to the indictment.
“Not only do white supremacists gangs subscribe to a repugnant, hateful ideology, they also engage in significant, organized and violent criminal activity,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “Under the Trump administration, the Department of Justice has targeted every violent criminal gang member in the United States. The quantities of drugs, guns and money seized in this case are staggering.”
A joint investigation by local and state law enforcement officials resulted in the seizure of 190 kilograms of methamphetamine, 31 firearms and roughly $376,587 in cash.
The defendants were linked to a number of violent white supremacist gangs, including the Aryan Circle, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Soldiers of Aryan Culture, the Dirty White Boys and the Peckerwoods.
Some defendants are also members of or associated with the Hispanic prison and street gang Tango Blast. The indictment doesn’t say why the white supremacists and a Hispanic street gang had partnered.
Federal authorities have been cracking down in white supremacist drug trafficking rings recently. Last year, 89 members of such groups were received a combined 1,070 years in federal prison for their role in a separate methamphetamine distribution operation.